CHRO Wraps Up Europe Advocacy Tour
Chinland Guardian – 24 September 2009 – London, UK: The Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) concluded a two-week long advocacy tour to Europe after meetings with UK Parliamentarians and government officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department of International Development today in London.
Speaking to Chinland Guardian after the meetings, CHRO Executive Director Salai Bawi Lian Mang said, “We were privileged to have the opportunity to brief UK government officials and Parliamentarians on a number of issues, including the continuing food crisis and current human rights situations in Chin State.”
The UK Department for International Development is the largest contributor to relief operations in Chin State with nearly one million pounds having donated to the World Food Program (WFP)’s projects in Chin State.
Yesterday, the CHRO Executive Director also separately met with the Shadow Foreign Minister Keith Simpson MP and the Chairman of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, Tony Baldry MP.
During his stay in London, Salai Bawi Lian Mang, accompanied by UK-based CHRO member Van Biak Thang, also met the Burma Campaign UK, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) and Baroness Cox, Chief Executive Officer of the Humanitarian Relief Trust (HART) who has visited Burma’s borderland many times. The two-day visit to London was facilitated by the Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).
The meetings in London followed the release of a new report “On the Edge of Survival: Continuing Rat Infestation and Food Crisis in Chin State, Burma” by Chin Human Rights Organization last week. The report said that rat infestation and related food crisis continue to spread to more areas of Chin State even as some relief aid has started to trickle in. Meanwhile, the report accused Burma’s military regime State Peace and Development Council of aggravating the situations through neglect and continued human rights abuses against the affected Chin population.
In separate program, on 23rd September, CHRO Advocacy Officer Amy Alexander was at Oxford University making a paper presentation at the International Conference on Protecting People in Conflict and Crisis: Responding to the Challenges in the Changing World. Under the theme “Population at Risks: Surviving and Responding to Protection Threats,” Amy Alexander addressed the conference by drawing from protection experiences of Chin refugees in India and Malaysia.
Four-Country Tour to Highlight Food Crisis
Launched on the heels of the release of the new report on the food crisis in Chin State, CHRO’s Europe advocacy tour kicked off in Prague, Czech Republic on 14th September 2009, when a press conference was conducted jointly with the Burma Center Prague. On the 15th, CHRO officially inaugurated a Chin Famine Photo Exhibition put together by the Burma Center Prague. The tour then proceeded to Norway and Sweden where CHRO had held meetings with Scandinavian NGOS and Institutional donors before it concluded in London on 24th September.